The Triune Brain - IELTS Reading Answers

The Triune Brain - IELTS Reading Answers

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PI - Prepare IELTS

2024-02-24

The Triune Brain

Overview

With consistent practice, IELTS aspirants can achieve the highest possible score in the Reading Module. You just need to know how to approach and respond to the various kinds of questions in the Reading Module if you want to score highly. You must make sure that your reading comprehension is up to par by working through and reviewing sample reading questions from previous IELTS exams.

In this blog, we have included a passage and related questions resembling the passage in the IELTS reading test. If you want to practise or get insight into the type of passages that appear in the IELTS reading test, read this blog until the end.

The Triune Brain - IELTS Reading Passage

  1. Scientists have identified the reptilian cortex as the first of our three brain regions to evolve. This brain ensures that the body can do the most fundamental functions necessary for survival, like breathing, resting, and keeping the heart pumping. It is not necessary for us to "think" about these pursuits. The "startle centre," a system that allows us to respond quickly to sudden and unexpected events, is likewise located in the reptilian cortex. The reptilian cortex is responsible for your startled lurch when a door smashes elsewhere in the house and your heightened awareness when a twig cracks in a nearby bush on your evening stroll. The reptilian brain has only the most primitive impulses when it comes to social interaction, such as aggression, mating, and territorial defence. A crocodile protecting its territory along the river is not different to a turf fight between rival gangs in the city.

  2. The lizard may be possessive of its territory, but it doesn't care one bit about the welfare of its offspring. It is evident that something new is happening when one hears the emergency call of a dolphin separated from its pod or when one sees elephants grieving for their dead. The limbic cortex has been recognised by scientists. The limbic cortex, found only in mammals, motivates animals to care for their young by flooding the parent with sensations of love and comfort while their young are in direct range. Mammals, like humans, are motivated to form bonds with others through emotional experiences. Our pleasant feelings of togetherness, unity, and comfort are amplified when we are with people of "our kind," whether at a soccer practice, a church service, a school assembly, or a bar. We become lonely and motivated to seek connection if we spend too much time apart from these networks.               

  3. It is only in humans that these two cortex are responsible and are able to scratch the surface of what is possible. We eat, sleep, and play like any other animal, but we also talk, scheme, reason, and argue over the finer details of morality. The neocortex, the expansive third brain responsible for reasoning, planning, and conceptualisation, is largely responsible for our special abilities. The neocortex's strength lies in its capacity to reflectively consider issues beyond the scope of the immediate situation. Although some mammals, like apes, can learn and remember basic lessons, only humans are capable of considering the "big picture" at the same time as acting on impulse. We can construct complex theories of physical or social phenomena by stringing together elementary insights (an apple falls from a tree; hurting others leads to unhappiness, etc.). (For example, gravitation laws and a concern for human rights).

Also read an interesting cue card: Describe an old friend you got in contact with again

  1. When strung together, these decisions can add up to achievements that cannot be matched by any other animal. When students know that getting enough sleep will help them perform better on an exam the next day, it can be easier to overcome the limbic system's natural instinct to keep them up late socialising. This unending dedication over three years will yield a first-class degree and funding for further education; over a lifetime, it could lead to significant advancements in our understanding of the world and its inhabitants. The neocortex is responsible for our ability to delay gratification now in exchange for greater rewards later.

  2. The complexity of brain damage and mental disorders can be better understood with a triune brain in mind. For instance, brain death is widely recognised as the most severe form of brain damage. The person may appear to be merely unconscious, perhaps sleeping, but this is a deceptive appearance. In this case, the reptilian brain is operating automatically despite the unrecoverable breakdown of other cortexes.

  3. It's important to note that the limbic cortex registers disturbances in a different way. Pups with brain injuries to the limbic system are able to get around and take care of themselves nutritionally, but they are unaware of their littermates' presence. According to t scientists, "one impaired monkey stepped on his outraged peers as if treading on a log or a rock" after undergoing a limbic lobotomy2. In humans, damage to the limbic system is linked to sociopathic behaviour. Full-neocortex sociopaths are typically shrewd and emotionally intelligent as the average person, but they have severe difficulties forming meaningful connections with others and showing compassion.

  4. A metal rod skewered railway worker Phineas Gage's skull, removing a significant portion of his neocortex, and yet he survived the injury. Gage's coworkers noticed a change in his equilibrium, even though he continued to live and work as before. Even as his intellectual abilities declined, Gage's animal tendencies became more pronounced, and he began making increasingly crude jokes. Nonetheless, recent research suggests that Gage was able to smooth out these distressing transitions and rediscover acceptable social behaviour over time. This suggests that patients with severe brain injuries may benefit from reparative therapy in order to improve their quality of life.

1. Triune = three-in-one

2. Lobotomy =  brain nerves are cut by surgery.

Also Check: Maximising Potential with IELTS Scholarships

The Triune Brain - Questions and Answers

Questions 1-5

Classify the following as typical of:

  1. The reptilian cortex

  2. The limbic cortex

  3. The neocortex

Write the correct letter, A, B or C, on your answer sheet in boxes 1-5

  1. Giving up happiness in the short term for gains in the long run.

  2. Maintaining the functions of the body that are necessary for life.

  3. To feel the pain of losing someone.

  4. Putting together groups and communities.

  5. Making a choice and sticking to it.

Answer 1:

Explanation 1: According to the last line of paragraph 4, it is stated that “The neocortex is responsible for our ability to delay gratification now in exchange for greater rewards later”. Therefore, the correct option is C.

Answer 2: A

Explanation 2: According to the 1st line of paragraph 1,  “Scientists have identified the reptilian cortex as the first of our three brain regions to evolve. This brain ensures that the body can do the most fundamental functions necessary for survival, like breathing, resting, and keeping the heart pumping”. This sentence suggests that the reptile cortex preserves bodily processes essential to existence. Thus, option A is the answer.

Answer 3: B

Explanation 3: According to 2nd line of paragraph 2,  “It is evident that something new is happening when one hears the emergency call of a dolphin separated from its pod or when one sees elephants grieving for their dead. The limbic cortex has been recognised by scientists”. Thus, B is the correct response.

Answer 4: B

Explanation 4: According to the 4th line of paragraph 2, the sentence means that the limbic cortex, unique to mammals, fills the parent with feelings of warmth and affection when the young are within close proximity, which in turn encourages the animal to take care of its young. Human and mammal bonding is driven by emotions. assembling communities and groupings. Thus, B is the correct response.

Answer 5: C

Explanation 5: The 1st line of paragraph 4 clearly states, "The neocortex is also in charge of the decision-making and dedication phases of our lives.” It means making a choice and sticking to it. Therefore, the correct option is C.

 

Questions 6-9

Complete the summary below.

For each response, choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER from the passage.

The 6.  _____________excels in looking at the big picture and thinking about things that might not be immediately relevant. Other species, like 7.______________, have a somewhat good memory and can acquire new information, but only humans can think strategically while also acting on 8. ___________. Simple observations (an apple falls from a tree; injuring others causes suffering) can be strung together to form more 9. ____________  of physical or social phenomena (such as the laws of gravity and a concern for human rights).

 

Answer 6: Neocortex

Explanation 6: In the 5th line of paragraph 3, it is clearly stated that “The neocortex's strength lies in its capacity to reflectively consider issues beyond the scope of the immediate situation.” Therefore, the answer is Neocortex.

Answer 7: Apes

Explanation 7: The 6th line of paragraph 3 reveals that “Although some mammals, like apes, can learn and remember basic lessons, only humans are capable of considering the "big picture" at the same time as acting on impulse.” Therefore, the answer is Apes.

Answer 8: Impulse

Explanation 8: It is stated in the 8th line of paragraph 3 that “Although some mammals, like apes, can learn and remember basic lessons, only humans are capable of considering the "big picture" at the same time as acting on impulse.” Therefore, the answer is Impulse.

Answer 9: Elementary insights

Explanation 9: According to the 9th line of the 5th paragraph, it is stated that “We can construct complex theories of physical or social phenomena by stringing together elementary insights (an apple falls from a tree; hurting others leads to unhappiness, etc.”). Thus, the answer is Elementary insights.

 

Questions 10-13

Complete the blanks below.

For each answer, write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage.

Write your answers on your answer sheet in boxes 10–13.

10. A person who only has a reptilian cortex that functions is called_______________.

11. ____________ in humans is associated with disorders in the limbic system.

12. Phineas Gage lost part of his ____________  because of an accident in the Industry.

13. After his accident, Gage's coworkers noticed a difference between __________ and how he thought.

 

Answer 10: Brain Dead

Explanation 10: According to the 5th line of paragraph 5, Even while other cortices cannot be repaired, the reptilian brain continues to function automatically in the event of brain death.

Answer 11: Sociopathic behaviour

Explanation 11: In the 5th line of paragraph 6, it is mentioned that “In humans, damage to the limbic system is linked to sociopathic behaviour”.

Answer 12: Neocortex

Explanation 12: In the 1st line of paragraph 7, it is mentioned that “ A metal rod skewered railway worker Phineas Gage's skull, removing a significant portion of his neocortex, and yet he survived the injury”. An accident in the Industry caused Phineas Gage to lose a portion of his Neocortex.

Answer 13: Animal propensities

Explanation 13: In the 4th line of paragraph 7, it is mentioned that “Gage's animal tendencies became more pronounced, and he began making increasingly crude jokes.” Tendencies here refer to propensities. Following his accident, Gage's colleagues observed a distinction in his mental process between his animal tendencies.

Also read: The Coconut Palm - Reading Answers

Conclusion

The above passage and the attached questions will help you prepare for the IELTS reading exam. You just have to be honest and consistent with your efforts.

If you want to get further details on how to prepare for IELTS or, particularly, the IELTS Reading section, you can contact the Prepare IELTS exam (PI) expert counsellors for additional guidance. Our team of education experts is dedicated to providing you with the best test material and guidance to ace the IELTS exam. You can get a one-on-one counselling session and an IELTS online practice test via our platform. Contact us at info@prepareieltsexam.com or call us at +91 9773398388 for further queries.

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